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Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a news writer for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett and interned at The L Magazine. At New York University she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, The Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said Friday that the department agreed with Germany's request for the Egyptian military to release ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, Reuters reported

When asked if the U.S. agreed with the German Foreign Ministry's call for Morsi's release, spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "We do agree," according to Reuters.

The White House and the State Department have not called Morsi's ouster a "coup" since he was deposed last week.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Friday said the White House should nominate New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to replace departing Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, the New York Daily News reported.

"The Department of Homeland Security is one of the most important agencies in the federal government," Schumer said in a written statement, as quoted by the Daily News. "Its leader needs to be someone who knows law enforcement, understands anti-terrorism efforts, and is a top-notch administrator, and at the NYPD, Ray Kelly has proven that he excels in all three. As a former head of the Customs and Border patrol, he has top-level federal management experience. There is no doubt Ray Kelly would be a great DHS Secretary, and I have urged the White House to very seriously consider his candidacy."

When asked about Schumer's recommendation in a Friday briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said it is "far too premature" to start speculating about Napolitano's successor.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a Friday press briefing that if the Russian government were to give fugitive defense contractor Edward Snowden political asylum, it would be equivalent to granting him a "propaganda platform" and would run counter to Russia's previously stated neutrality.

Carney reiterated that since Snowden is facing three felony charges, he ought to be expelled from Russia to the U.S. where he will "be afforded due legal process."

"Every aspect of the United States system of justice is available to him upon his return," he said.

Carney said President Barack Obama will hold a previously scheduled phone call Friday afternoon with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Wikileaks on Friday released a full transcript of Edward Snowden's remarks in Moscow to a gathering of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

"I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing," Snowden said in the transcript. "I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice."

Read the full transcript of Snowden's remarks here.

President Barack Obama said in a written statement released Friday that the American people "are safer and more secure" thanks to Janet Napolitano, who resigned her post at the head of the Department of Homeland Security to become president of the University of California system. 

"Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values," Obama said. "And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks." 

Read Obama's full statement below:

I want to thank Secretary Napolitano for her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years.  At the Department of Homeland Security, Janet’s portfolio has included some of the toughest challenges facing our country.  She’s worked around the clock to respond to natural disasters, from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, helping Americans recover and rebuild. Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values.  And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks. I’ve come to rely on Janet’s judgment and advice, but I’ve also come to value her friendship.  And as she begins a new chapter in a remarkable career of public service, I wish her the best of luck.

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has been nominated as the next president of the University of California system, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday. 

UC officials told the Times that her experiences in the Obama administration, including heading anti-terrorism initiatives, would be an advantage in administering UC's federal energy and nuclear weapons labs, among other federally funded research.

A source close to Napolitano told the Times that Napolitano considered the position for a long time after she was first contacted about the post.

"I think she loves working for President Obama and serving the American people, but at the same time, this is a unique opportunity,” the source told the Times. "UC is probably the premier institution in the country. She is motivated by the fact that being a part of UC, she will be a part of educating future leaders of tomorrow and be part of a state that sets so much of the agenda nationally.”

Napolitano's appointment will make her the first woman to head the UC system in the 145 years since it was founded.

The first photo taken of fugitive defense contractor Edward Snowden since he arrived weeks ago in Moscow's international airport surfaced during his meeting with human rights organizations Friday. The New York Times' Moscow correspondent Ellen Barry, who is in contact with Human Rights Watch's Tanya Lokshina, tweeted the image.

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) said Thursday that he intends to announce plans for the state's 2014 governor's race in the fall, according to the Boston Globe.

"As you’re running for political office, you know when it’s time, you know when it’s right," Brown said at an event in Mashpee, Mass., as quoted by the Globe. "And I don’t know when that time is going to be."

Brown told reporters he would make an announcement regarding the Massachusetts governor's race "in the fall, at some point," according to the Globe. He added that he would meet with the 2010 Republican nominee Charles D. Baker who he "absolutely" expected to run again.

Brown was elected to the Senate in a 2010 upset race to replace Ted Kennedy (D). He lost his seat to Elizabeth Warren (D) last year.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who announced this week that he will not be running for reelection, told the Washington Times Thursday that he'll be making a trip to Israel in October.

"We will be going to Israel to bring together Arabs, Christian and Jews in an educational forum,” Perry said in an interview with The Times.

The publication pointed out that the trip foreshadows a potential 2016 presidential run, although Perry told The Times that he has "plenty of time to make that decision."

A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked Liberty University's suit against Obamacare, which argued that the healthcare law forced large employers to provide coverage to full-time workers and subsidize abortions, Reuters reported.

The U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals in Richmond, Va. ruled Liberty's argument that the healthcare law violated the Constitution in requiring employers to offer health insurance coverage was invalid, according to Reuters. The court also said that the law allows employers to pick healthcare plan options that cover abortion procedures only in instances of rape, incest or to protect the mother's life that do not violate the free exercise of religion.

Liberty's case was originally dismissed by the appeals court in 2011. The Supreme Court upheld most of the healthcare law last year and told the appeals court to give the school's case another look because of the ruling.

Liberty University was founded by evangelist Jerry Falwell and is located in Lynchburg, Va. 

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